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Worklife balance - Balance your life
Balance your life
In this fast paced era when everything is ‘instant’, living a balanced life and finding work life balance is not so easy. A balanced life is about giving each aspect of your life its due importance. It is also about enjoying your life, being yourself and loving the person you are. Take a look randomly at the people in your office or in a public place and you would find stress and anxiety written on their faces. They are doing one thing while their mind is on something else. Living in the moment and enjoying it is the key to a balanced life. This is only possible as long as you are able to detach work life from your personal life and focus on each aspect of living as you live it.
Balancing work and life
A decade ago when my son was very young and I had a full time job, I would be sitting at my office desk lost in the thoughts of how my son was doing. Since he had many health issues at that time, I would be perpetually worried and never be able to do justice to my work at the office. When I was home, I would be worried about the backlog and all the things I had to do at the office. The trauma of being a young mother who had not learned the art of work life balance, neither enjoying my job nor my child sufficiently. I decided to quit, this may not be an option for many today, but it worked for me. Balanced living, at that point of time, looked like a theory that was impractical and out of reach. Today, I being older and wiser, know that you can live a balanced life if you set your priorities right.
Balance your life - Tips
First things first – Prioritize, make a list of all the things that you think is very important to you, for example - career, family, friend, Church or social activities, interest / hobbies etc. Once you have your list ready, rank them based on your priorities.
Schedule these activities into your daily or weekly schedules as it seems fit to you. The first two or three on the list would probably appear in your everyday activities. Stick to your plans.
Take time to enjoy every moment. I knew, that is where I had failed, I neither enjoyed my baby nor my job because I could not live in the moment and take advantage of it. The worry was constant, no matter where I was. Leave worries behind, live your moments and don’t let them pass you by.
Learn to be happy. If your happiness depends on the people and things around you may never be assured of a happy life. Be in control of your emotions, choose your emotions and live them. Choose your battles, your goals, your responses and choose the things that you want to ignore. I would like to add more on the last part - ignore a) those things that bring out negative reactions from you, b) shifts your focus to things that may not matter in a few years from now, c) ignore those things/people who make you feel that you are worthless, they have problems that they need to deal with. If you could achieve this kind of control, you would have a great emotional balance that will fill your days with peace and joy. Stress at work could also be handled effectively if you could get a hold of emotions and learning to stay happy.
Love yourself or at least learn to be comfortable in your own skin. Self acceptance is the beginning of the journey of self-confidence and self-esteem. Practice self-affirmation, tell yourself that you can do it, you are in control over your emotions, you are firm in your decisions etc.. and you would soon find the strength ‘to be what you say’. Learn to value and respect yourself. The opinions of others are colored by their own perceptions.
Do your best and let the rest be, at least you tried. Let your love for people and gratitude towards people be expressed. Let them know that they matter to you. Make sure that the ones closest to you have your time and attention. They need to know that you not only love them but act in love too.
Take care of your health. Heath is an important area to remember when you speak of living a balanced life. People often work so hard at the cost of their health, believing that achieving success in their career alone is enough. Make time everyday for your exercise routine or take a long walk. You could take a walk with your spouse and accomplish two things at the same time, spending time with your spouse and your exercise. Alternately you make use of your walk to get some errands done to help your partner. This way you could maximize the time available to you while making it enjoyable and meaningful. A balanced healthy diet, good habits are all worth looking into.
Be creative – Creativity is required in the way we approach everyday issues. Creativity could find you ways out of your problem and at the same time it could turn your dreams into reality. Using creativity to make your work into something that is interesting and enjoyable, family time could turn into fun times and difficulties could turn into opportunities. The approach is what matters not the events.
Simplify your life – Clutter is what makes your life difficult and complicated. Too many things whether they are possessions or hobbies can get your life out of balance. Simplicity in the way you relate to people and the way you approach things could all make life much easier and in balance with the rest of the people around you.
Eliminate those things that drain your energy – It is really not worthwhile spending time on those things that consume your time and energy without adding any value to life. I would like to mention a few things that most people constantly do without realising how much energy it drains out – negative talk, venting, complaining, grouching, etc. These put you in a negative mood and reduce your productivity to a large extent. Other activities like inane chatter on social networking sites or aimlessly surfing the net could drain out so much of your productive time. Cut down on such activities.
Take time to relax – Everyday is packed with enough stress that you really need to schedule time to relax and unwind. But most people believe that relaxing is watching a TV program or shopping. It would be better to get your hands into some hobby that could help you feel relaxed and at the same time recharge your batteries when you see the creative outcome from it. Read a book, have a relaxing soak in the tub, or get your partner to give you a back rub and feel the difference.
Un-clutter your mind – This is one area of balance that a huge percentage of the people neglect. They constantly clutter their minds with all kinds of information. You need to sort out the way you think, the way you approach life, your attitudes, emotions and ensure that at the end of the day you are not negative or holding grudges against others. You constantly need to let go and un-clutter your mind of all hurt and pain and move on with life.
Career is not everything – Your professional life or your career is only one part of your life. It is not everything. Most people get this out of balance and ruin their work life and their personal life because they have poor understanding of this fact. When there is stress in one area, whether it is work life or personal life, you tend to carry it over to the other side. When values and goals are at logger heads in these two areas, stress and strife becomes the nature of a person’s life. It is so important to get your work life into right perspective. You need to understand that you are not defined by your career or profession but by who you really are. All your other roles need to be in balance with your professional goals.
Readiness for change – Life is a series of changes and we constantly need to adapt ourselves to the change around us. It is when we are unable to keep pace with the changes that we tend tend to lose our balance. Finding your balance amidst the changing scene is what makes your life more dynamic and interesting.
It does take time to bring balance into your life. Living a balanced life will leave you inspired and energized to make the best of what you have.